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Effective strategies in dealing with DUI offenders - Incarceration and Treatment - Research Paper Example

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Effective strategies in dealing with DUI offenders - Incarceration and Treatment

This essay analyzes the traditional model of solving the issues of driving under the influence (DUI) is that the offender is incarcerated or fined. However, with increasing frequency, the traditional model of incarceration of fines has been supplanted by other ideas. Specifically, one of the ideas is that DUI offenders are amenable to treatment. Treatment programs have been around at least since the early 1970s, with the innovative for its time pilot project instituted by the City of Phoenix. Additionally, programs were also aimed at schoolchildren. These programs, unlike later programs, were geared towards individuals who had not yet offended, in hopes that they never would offend. The program which worked the best in this context was a “shock” program – students were shown grisly pictures of accidents. These programs were aimed at the primary audience. Other programs were aimed at a secondary audience, which consisted of individuals who had already offended. These programs had limited success, according to Ross. However, other programs which concentrated on a variety of approaches have had success. These programs are considered to be DUI court programs. These programs typically require the offender to complete some kind of treatment protocol, check in with the judge on a regular basis and be intensely monitored. One program, in South Dakota, only monitored the offenders, on a continuous basis. These programs all showed a great degree of success, as indicated below. Less successful are traditional incarceration programs, according to Weinrath & Gartrell. (2001). They found that those sentenced to incarceration generally had a very high rate of recidivism. Incarceration treatment programs are a hybrid of incarceration and treatment programs, and this has had success, too, in reducing recidivism. Another aspect which has long been overlooked, however, and could be the key to long-term remission of alcohol-related problems, especially drunk driving, is the existence of psychiatric problems in persistent DUI offenders (Shaffer et al., 2007). Up until recently, this is a factor which has been rarely studied and is not generally made a part of typical DUI rehabilitation programs. That said, this article will go into detail about this aspect, because it is such a new factor which has been studied with regards to DUI treatment protocols. The hypothesis regarding the high prevalence of psychiatric comorbidities with DUI offenders is that these psychiatric problems are going untreated, even in a typical DUI rehabilitation program. Because of this, long-term prospects for DUI offenders are limited. After all, the treatment programs listed in this paper do not posit about long-term effects of their programs, only short term ones of up to two years after the program has ceased. Incorporating psychiatric screening for every DUI offender might be the most effective program in the long run. TREATMENT The idea of treatment of the persistent DUI offender has been around for a long time. For instance, in 1970, authors Ernest Stewart and James Malfetti wrote a book called Rehabilitation of the Drunken Driver. In this book, they advocated for the Phoenix DWI curriculum. The Phoenix DWI curriculum acknowledges that DWI violators can be helped if they “understand the foregoing assumptions [that 'Alcohol reduces the skills needed in driving: vision, perception, judgment, motor response] and to consider and adopt ways to improve their own DWI behavior” (Stewart & Malfetti, 1970, p. 25). In other words, the Phoenix program during this time was geared towards helping individuals understand the effects of alcohol consumption upon driving, and how alcohol consumption is detrimental to driving. This pilot program included a class which had the stated purpose of helping the students of the class understand how alcohol affects driving skills. The students are also reinforced that their behavior ...Show more
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This research presents effective strategies in dealing with driving under the influence (DUI) offenders - Incarceration and Treatment. Driving under the influence is a serious problem in the world today. It is a problem which has confounded the justice system for many years. …
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